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Key software and hardware updates may be coming for the iPhone

DailyTech previously reported that Apple would soon be previewing the 3.0 version of its iPhone OS to the tech community.  With Apple's smartphone well positioned in the market, posting some of the strongest hardware sales of last year, the release of a new OS is a big event.  Many are hoping that the new OS will hint at new hardware or will offer some of the basic functionality like copy and paste which Apple has long denied its users.

The copy and paste rumors in particular are picking up steam.  Digg's Kevin Rose, a past clairvoyant with Apple predictions, claims to have the scoop on copy and paste.  He makes unconfirmed claims that copy/cut and paste will be implemented in the 3.0 OS.  The process, summarized on a Gizmodo blog is:

Cut and paste in 3.0:
- Users magnify or double tap a word to bring up cut and paste
- Pinch "boundaries" to select word(s); Rose called them "copy boundaries"
- Then you get option to cut, paste or copy

It is also rumored that MMS and video messaging will not be supported in the new OS.  Rumors about these features have been propagating for the last couple weeks, but recent reports from inside sources indicate that these desirable features are unfortunately not to be.

Another top rumor is that new hardware may be in the mix.  This rumor is fueled by the fact that every past x.0 iPhone OS release has corresponded to a new hardware release.  Many are speculating that a 32 GB iPhone will be released as a 32 GB iPod Touch already exists.  Further, some are going as far as to speculate that new processors/casing/etc. may be in the mix as well.

Finally, there are rumors about Apple tweaking how its applications run.  Apps have been a pillar of the iPhone 3G's wild success, but currently only one app can be active at a time.  According to Kevin Rose, the ability to have other apps running in the background will not be supported.  Apple has long said this is the case due to memory limitations.  However, the rumor is still popping up that Apple may support background operation for a limited number of apps.

Others are claiming Apple will institute a slightly different scheme -- push notifications.  This feature would allow non-running apps like IM clients to receive and display notifications (i.e. a popup when a new IM is received).  This would be one possible way of getting around the background limitations, possibly without using as much memory.

Ultimately, the iPhone 3.0 OS is Apple's chance to prove itself the superior competitor to the much anticipated Palm Pre phone.  While it is seemingly increasingly unlikely that Apple will be able to kill the multi-touch Pre with litigation (Apple has a rather ambiguous patent on multi-touch, while the Pre is the first smart phone outside the iPhone to support it), Apple must seek to take it on by offering better features. 

Whether Apple can deliver on such features is intimately attached to the capabilities of the new OS.  However, at this point these capabilities remain unsubstantiated rumors, and cannot be fairly judged.



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RE: OMG!
By biggsjm on 3/16/2009 1:22:41 PM , Rating: -1
I wouldn't say its the MOST BASIC FEATURE. I think the most basic feature a smart phone has would be the phone functions.

What good is a smart phone that can only copy/paste?

I honestly think Rose is full of it. I think the method he describes is a terrible way to implement copy/paste since its the same double-tap that is used to zoom in / out of text on a web page.

Honestly, I think background processes are a necessity. I like the idea that was proposed of selecting specific apps that can be run in the background (limit of 2 or 4). This is the one thing I am looking for tomorrow.


RE: OMG!
By Ticholo on 3/16/2009 1:33:22 PM , Rating: 3
Background apps would work better by just running in the background and alerting you if there is no more memory when you try to launch a new one and letting you choose which currently running app you want to close. Not that I know much about the iPhone's OS, but I doubt every app takes up the same amount of memory. If you're going to allow multi-tasking it should be based on hardware limits, not some arbitrary number they come up with.

The copy/paste "feature", while somewhat basic, does present an interesting problem for the iPhone's interface. That said, I really can't see why it isn't there from the start... It seems like a basic thing to implement. Surely someone at Apple could have worked it out when the iPhone first came out.


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